ISD Road trip: Dyersville, heaven in the fields

The “Field of Dreams” movie site was built in 1989. It is a popular tourist attraction today, with thousands of people coming to play baseball on the field.

Frances Myers

“If you build it… they will come.” “’Is this heaven?” “No, it’s Iowa.”

If there is one movie that has made Iowa famous, it’s “Field of Dreams.” This movie was filmed right here in Iowa, in a field in Dyersville, to be exact. Due in large part to the film starring Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones, Iowa has been put on the map especially when referred to as heaven or in regards to baseball.

For this week’s road trip, the Daily explored Dyersville and its attractions. We checked out the Field of Dreams, the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier as well as the food from Country Junction Restaurant.

Driving down the main drag in Dyersville, it’s hard to miss the towering steeples of the St. Francis Xavier Basilica Catholic Church. Walking through the doors, a visitor would see the 64 stained glass windows and transoms, 10 of which contain the pictures of the life of Christ and his saints with the rest made up of geometrical designs. With walls and ceilings the inside is a sight to see full of religion and history.

A few minutes out of town is the esteemed “Field of Dreams” movie site, the very field surrounded by cornfields with the white house nearby. Between the field and the house is a small shop where visitors can buy souvenirs and pick up pamphlets.

Currently the field is under contract to be sold, according to the website, but is not anticipated to change ownership until the fall of 2012. According to the official movie site website, “Once the field has actually been sold, everything will remain the same with little or no interruption to our tourists and daily schedule. The actual movie site is not in any way being altered. Quite the contrary: It will be preserved for generations to come.”

On our way out of town we stopped by the Country Junction Restaurant, a family-style restaurant with a barn-like structure. According to their website, the restaurant does as much cooking every day from scratch as possible. With a table full of bread, chicken pot pie and chicken fried steak, it was hard to find complaint within the group.